Monday, June 21, 2010

Summer Priorities

I have three priorities this summer. Get in shape (girl!), get a tan, and get a job. It seems like a good balance of needs - health and employment - and wants - sunkissed skin. So far, I'm at two out of three and I'm working hard to confirm the last element. Crossing my fingers over here...wish me luck.

Monday, June 7, 2010

Back to Life...Back to Reality

Has it really been a month since my last post?! much has happened since then. I celebrated a birthday, refinished my deck (be on the lookout for that thrilling, upcoming post), and just returned from a week long road trip. I'm still job hunting and have had some great leads and even a few promising interviews. Keep your fingers crossed.
While I adjust back to real life, go ahead and read the post below. It's all about my road trip (mis)adventures and the characters I love.

1,073 Miles - Notes from the Road

This is a rare time in my life that I've had the liberty to take a weeklong roadtrip, so after an invitation to Baltimore, I decided to do a tour de university friends. I started from Cleveland---->Harrisburg for a night----->Spent two nights in Baltimore---->headed northeast to NYC for three nights---->8 hour drive back to Cleveland = 1,073 miles. Here are a few notes/observations from the road.

  • In NYC, with a population of more than 8 million people, what are the chances that I'd run into people I know on the street? Pretty good, it happened twice.

  • This one woman wolf pack loves to travel alone. I keep myself thoroughly entertained though admittedly, a ipod would have been nice. Ok, insert joke [here] about how I need to join the 21st century.
  • A painted watermelon makes a great get well gift.

  • Marry a nice man. My friend and her husband had at least 10 people and three dogs sleeping in their house. Not only is he patient and kind, but he put up with our crass humor and kept everyone fed.

  • Be grateful for the smoking ban.

  • When in New York, I like to do 1-2 small touristy things. This time, it was a stroll through Grand Central and a visit to Magnolia Bakery. Banana chocolate muffin....mmm.

  • Who needs a gallbladder anyways? Not my girl, Erin!

  • In the most remote areas, there's always a pop music station playing Lady Gaga.

  • In the most remote areas, Ryan Seacrest is on-air.

  • The Poconos are lovely this time of year.

  • My parents are awesome. I'd thank them on here but they don't read this.

  • It's impossible to drive through New Jersey and not think about Garden State and Harold and Kumar go to White Castle, especially the hilariously high Neil Patrick Harris.

  • I love my friends. I got carnivorous in Harrisburg, danced in Baltimore, and wandered around New York. Thanks, my urban family, for being such gracious hosts during my adventure.

Saturday, May 8, 2010

On Dating like a Dude.

A few years ago, I dealt with a horrible break up. Afterward, being that emotionally close to someone again was unfathomable, so instead, I began to a man. And I dated a lot. I enjoyed the company, but I was noncommittal. When I was done dating someone, I just stopped calling. I told one guy to, "Call me when his period was over." Although I was a bit hardened, frankly, it was kinda fun.

There were a few guys I dated with whom I attempted to build something more, but for some reason or another, they weren't right for me. This continued until last fall when *gasp* I opened up and started to really feel again. Long story short, the feelings weren't mutual and that's why I'm back to dating like a dude.

There's something oddly comforting about dating this way. It creates a shield that protects me from the pain of a break up by not letting anyone really affect me. I'm strong and a staunch defender of myself. I know what I will and will not put up with, and I'm vocal about it, whether it's right, wrong, positive or negative.

This doesn't mean that I'm a cold, calculating bitch. One of the nicest compliments a boyfriend gave me was that I was one of the most affectionate people he knew. I'm loving...I just might not fall in love with you. For now, that's not bad. It's not what I ultimately want in my life but until I'm ready to open up again, and this time, with the right person, my shield is up.

Wednesday, May 5, 2010

My Love/hate Relationship with my Cat.

Although this blog is mainly about my misadventures of being single and passing the time while job hunting, today's post is about my love/hate relationship with my cat...and she seemingly feels the same.

From the very beginning, Miss Cleo was a handful. She was a stray and at her first vet appointment, they told me A) he was a she B) she was pregnant C) she had tapeworms and fleas. Ew. She went in for a kitty abortion (yes, I'm terrible but I didn't want to witness the miracle of cat birth and then have 5 kittens to take care of), but it turned out she wasn't pregnant. She had a terrible infection and the procedure saved her little kitty life.

So the way I see it, she should be eternally grateful, and for the most part, she's a great cat. She's talkative and oddly cute. We snuggle when she lets me. She plays games - like flicking up a single piece of food, batting it around and then devouring it like she finally captured her prey. She runs around with a toy mouse in her mouth. An elastic hair band provides hours of entertainment. She's well taken care of, healthy and safe.

But occasionally, this happy home life gets rocky. She LOVED hanging out in the dirty attic with fallen insulation everywhere. At first, I put a few heavy books in front of the door thinking she couldn't move them. But then I'd come home, the door would be wide open and Miss Cleo was nowhere to be found. The spray bottle was ineffective because I couldn't quite catch her in the act. My only option was to install a lock to keep her out. I'm sure it was a sad day when she realized she could no longer hangout in the cobwebs and insulation.

Miss Cleo is shedding terribly but hates to be brushed, so I decided she was no longer allowed to sit and shed on the couch. I reinforced this new rule by squirting her with a water bottle. She let me know how uncool this was by pooping in the dining room.

I took a trip to Arizona and returned to find one shoe completely drenched in pee.

Most of you are probably thinking, "Oh cats! That's just what they do," so I'm keeping that in mind, but her random acting out has to stop. I've started a system of positive reinforcement where she receives cat treats after I do something "mean" like try to brush her or give her medicine. And since I'm home more, I've been spending a lot of quality time snuggling with her. I'm hoping we struggle less with the love/hate and just love. That is, until the next time I find one of her little surprises.

Tuesday, April 27, 2010

Unemployment is So Uncool - Entry #1

Bills, bills, bills. Some monthly and some unexpected but they all require money I don't have. Thank you, Ohio for giving me unemployment. I truly appreciate it. But when 1/2 a month of benefits almost pay my mortgage, which is very reasonable, it will be interesting to see which bills get paid and which bills will be pushed back a month or two. Now I'm cursing my need for technology at my finger tips and real-time Facebook updates. Damn you, data package.

Unexpected a $1000 brake job today. My god, did that hurt. But you can't drive around for much longer with completely obsolete back brakes. Yup. 100% non functioning.

Oh tax return, tax return where art thou? Combined with unemployment, you will be expected to help me fund some minor home projects, purchase patio furniture AND float me for a few months while I'm looking for a new job. It will be a frugal summer full of value time hot dogs and Miller Lite.

Monday, April 19, 2010

Zen in 10!

Every year, my friend and I come up with a motto for the new year. There was "Great in 08" and then "Fine in 09." This year, she came up with "Zen in 10" while I half jokingly came up with "No Men in 10." I was dating someone so my motto was invalid, just talk, so I tried to follow her mantra of "Zen in 10."

In theory, "Zen in 10" sounds great. Yay for enlightenment and tranquility! But so far, 2010 has been a tough year for me. I've caught myself thinking in yoga, "Fuck off, that's impossible," when the instructor has soothingly suggested letting go of stress. Side note: Sorry. I heart yoga and the strength and comfort I draw from it. Obviously, I was not happy.

I was feeling pretty bad. The kind of bad where you neglect your priorities, drink a little too much red wine, have a hard time smiling, and bed is the most comfortable place to be. People had started commenting about my bad mood. That behavior is far from my norm. So taking a trip to Arizona to visit my best friend could not have come at a better time. Aside from the immense amounts of Vitamin D I would absorb from the sunshine, I was looking forward to spending time with my friend, whose positive energy and inner strength have been inspiring to me.

We road tripped with friends in a beat up convertible to the Grand Canyon. And other than a run in with a tree that left me with a black eye and a scar, hiking around and seeing the Grand Canyon was incredible. Pictures show you what it looks like, but you cannot appreciate it's vast beauty until you see it with your own eyes. We moved onto Sedona where we spent the night and hiked near Cathedral Rock the following day. We picnicked, we built our own rock formations and we laughed, but most importantly, we shared a great experience. The following days were great too. We laid poolside, had a few margaritas, went out to eat and explored the picturesque area. A fitness hike up Pinnacle Peak left me winded but I kept thinking, "Thank god for being in shape and able to appreciate this."

I feel SO MUCH BETTER. Sometimes things happen for a reason - things fall into place when and why they're supposed to. Like purchasing my tickets back when I was employed. Had I not purchased them then, I would not have gone on the trip. And also the timing of the trip was perfect. I needed to feel warm. I needed my best friend. I needed an adventure. I needed to clear my head, zen out in the desert and refocus my life.

So now I'm back in Cleveland, working on finding a job and tackling the "Zen in 10" AND "No Men in 10" mantras. But truth be told, "Zen in 10" is probably more feasible because this makeout bandit can't be sidelined for too long.